- III -
“Food production could be increased by at least 33% if we installed a more efficient irrigation scheme and created additional arable fields on the western and eastern ridges,” Xylion said as he surveyed some of the land near the settlement while reviewing a padd.
“You are probably correct,” said Tela who stayed close by his side and had in fact hardly even ventured more than a few meters from him since he had set out to inspect the settlement in greater detail. “But don’t you think this can wait? You have not even spent an entire day here yet and you are already looking at ways to improve things. Let me show to your new accommodation. Let me help you settle in before you commit yourself to work.”
He considered her curiously. “There is a great amount of work to be done in order to ensure the settlement remains viable.”
The young Vulcan nodded. “Of course. And I have no doubt that you have many ideas to ensure it will. But we have survived here for twenty-three years. I am certain waiting a few days to make improvements will have no ill-effects.”
“I disagree,” he said. “We are already aware of elements within this settlement which are not only behaving illogically but destructively. It is imperative that we implement changes swiftly for the well-being of the settlement and its residents.”
“You speak of the attack on your former crewmember.”
She looked off into the distance for a moment, into the general direction where until this morning the Starfleet runabout had been stranded. “They are gone, Xylion. And with them the factors which most likely have contributed to that unfortunate incident.”
“Regardless of the motivation for the attack, I am convinced that it reveals an inherent instability within this colony which could be a symptom of a much more dangerous underlying trend.”
“You really believe we might revert back to our more basic and violent nature?”
He offered a minuscule nod. “We should not rule out the possibility that some colonists may de-evolve in such a manner. But I need to carry out further research before I can be entirely certain of the root causes and if they truly present a significant danger. The sooner I can do this, the better chance the colony has for survival.”
She nodded slowly without looking at him directly.
“I also still wish to locate the person or persons responsible for the attack on Ensign Srena.”
This caused her to focus back on him. “For what purpose?”
“Those actions were criminal. The guilty parties must be found. A society, even one as small as this, must have a functioning criminal justice system in order to maintain order. And if the individuals responsible require medial attention, it is even more imperative that they are located. It will also assist my research to question the perpetrators and learn the full scope of their motivations.”
Xylion raised an eyebrow, not missing her subtle reservations. “Tela, if you recall it was your suggestion which prompted me to consider this matter in the first place. You were the one to mention the possibility that elements of the settlement were no longer following Surak’s teachings. It was you who feared what this might mean for the future of the settlement.”
She nodded, almost absent mindedly as she kept her gaze far away.
“I trust that you did not raise those possibilities simply as a strategy to convince me to stay here.”
At that she quickly glanced back on him. “Of course not.”
Xylion’s face remained hard. Neutral to most observers but those who knew him well may have been able to detect the barest hint of skepticism around his eyes.
“I meant what I said. I truly did. When I was a child I read about pre-Surak Vulcans. About the manner in which they lived and nearly destroyed each other before they turned towards logic. I care for this settlement and my people. I do not wish for the same fate to befall them here.” When Xylion didn’t speak and instead simply continued to consider her, she continued. “But you can also not deny a certain … attraction between the two of us. Surely. We are Vulcan of course but we also love, do we not? And we consume those notions.”
Another raised eyebrow his sole response.
She took a small step closer to him and then looking for his hand which she took in hers with little resistance. “Isn’t it also logical that this settlement cannot survive without continued procreation?” she said, looking deep into his eyes.
“Vulcan procreation is achieved through the pon farr
and takes place only once every seven years. Neither of us is currently experiencing that stage.”
Tela moved close still so that their bodies were mere inches apart now. “But there are exceptions to this, are there not? In cases such as this where reproduction is essential to survival.”
“Yes. However your logical is flawed. As you have pointed out moments ago, the immediate survival of the settlement is not yet at stake,” he said and took a step backwards.
Her lips nearly formed a smile. “But you have not denied my assertion regarding the attraction that exists between us.”
“Tela,” he began, sounding much more softly than usual. “You are still very young and as you have correctly observed, I have only just joined your community. Vulcan mating rituals can take many years to develop. I recommend patience in this matter.”
“I do not wish to be patient,” she said, almost pouting now.
“Consider it my first lesson on understanding Vulcan ways.”
The frown on her beautiful young face was difficult to miss. Then she turned suddenly, looking back towards the settlement. “My father has assembled the rest of the colony. We should go and meet them,” she said and headed off.
Xylion wasn’t entirely certain how she had been able to determine this, he had heard no announcement or signal to that effect. He followed her nevertheless.